News for employees

MU Extension Insider
July 1, 2011


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the first and 15th of the month. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

Lots of rain and heat: Watch out for mold and mildew

moldMold became widespread after just two weeks in this Joplin home when tornado damage exposed the interior to rain.

Above-average rainfall and warm temperatures create the perfect environment for mold and mildew. For people with allergies, mold can be life-threatening. However, even if you don't suffer from allergies, mold can cause headaches and make you feel generally uncomfortable. Debbie Johnson reports.

See also: Related news release by Curt Wohleber.


Iraq and Back

A University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist recently took her skills to Iraq to help that country rebuild its agriculture. Kent Faddis reports.


Kallenbach wins C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award


UM Interim President Steve Owens,Rob Kallenbach and Vice Provost and Director of Extension Michael Ouart

Rob Kallenbach, professor/state extension specialist and plant science extension program leader, received the 2011 C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award at the Board of Curators Award Dinner, June 16 in Columbia. Kallenbach received the award in recognition of his exemplary programs in extension and research achieving national and international reputation in forage systems.

Colleagues noted in his application that Kallenbach makes a tremendous contribution to addressing day-to-day production problems faced by forage and livestock producers. His research and extension programs are so well integrated it is difficult to tell them apart.

Kallenbach has provided key leadership in the development of an internationally recognized program to assist development of pasture-based dairying in Missouri. He has organized faculty study tours to New Zealand and Australia. The expansion of this efficient and more profitable sector of the dairy industry has added more than $100 million to Missouri’s economy.

The award recognizes a faculty member who personifies the creativity, vision and leadership exhibited by the late C. Brice Ratchford, who served as president of the University of Missouri System and dean of cooperative extension.

For more about the Ratchford Award, see


eXtension Outstanding Institutional Team Award


Meridith Berry, Jimmy Henning (member of the eXtension governing committee), Julie Middleton, Sharon Gulick

University of Missouri Extension won the Outstanding Institutional Team Award at the eXtension National Community of Practice Workshop. The recognition was for planning, creativity, organized activities, web conference attendance, director interaction and institutional engagement. The team received a plaque and team members will receive a certificate and T-shirt. Team members include:


Economist Scott Brown to help MU beef team

Scott Brown, FAPRI economist, will work part time with the MU Missouri Beef Project starting July 1, said Dave Baker, assistant dean for agriculture extension.

The beef team shows an estimated $50 million impact on the state economy, mainly through the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers. The beef team will boost marketing of superior genetics developed in Missouri. Heifer development was phase one. Capturing higher value from steer mates of those heifers comes next. That may include more retained ownership of calves sent to western feedlots. Results can return more dollars to Missouri.

“We are on the brink of new programming that could have far greater economic ramification,” said David Patterson, MU Extension beef specialist. “We needed additional economic analysis for the project.”

Brown said, “The MU FAPRI baseline shows growing economic returns for quality beef. Missouri can take advantage of growing domestic and international demand for high-quality beef.”

Training for extension field staff will be held. Extensive producer meetings will follow.

Higher-quality beef resulted from MU basic and applied research. Farm-proven protocols for fixed-time AI for beef cows and heifers were developed.


Urban Agriculture team appointed

Kay Gasen-Thenhaus, UMSL urban program leader, and Wayne Prewitt, interim WC regional director, will be co-leaders of a new Urban Agriculture/Urban Food Systems team. The team will coordinate the development and implementation a statewide program building on several metropolitan food system programs already underway. They will work under administrative guidance from Dave Baker, assistant dean, agriculture extension.

Team members are Marlin Bates, horticulture; Chrystal Weber and Kara Lubischer, community development; Dean Wilson, agriculture and rural development; Jody Squires and Verlynda Cameron, 4-H youth development; Karen Elliott and Mary Weismann, food and nutrition education; and Mary Hendrickson, rural sociology.

Initial charge will be

  1. Define focus of urban foods programs;
  2. Create curriculum to address food issues;
  3. Launch training and pilot projects.

The team will learn from similar groups in other states and will adapt proven curriculum. The issues include both food production and distribution. One aim will be to increase access to fresh produce. Possibilities will be explored for using vacant lots in the urban core for profit-making food production.

As the team evolves into a working unit, it can lead MU Extension into addressing food issues in our metropolitan areas, Baker said.


Metropolitan Food Systems webinars

Those who want to know more about extension efforts in metropolitan urban agriculture in the 12-state North Central Region can attend four webinars offered in July. “These can build collaborations between universities and across program areas,” said Dave Baker. “These are not technical, but will start the conversation.”

Mary Leuci will coordinate the food infrastructure program.

All will be on Adobe Connect or an audio line. For the Adobe version, go to

For audio only, dial 866-433-433-4616. Use pass code 642606.


4-H campers explore global hunger and poverty

Fourteen teenage 4-H youth from six Missouri counties experienced Global Village as a part of a four-day Heifer International Ranch's immersion camp in Perryville, Ark. 

"They had no clue ahead of time what the camp would entail," said Ben Gallup, state 4-H specialist and co-chaperone of the trip. 

Global Village is a world poverty and hunger simulation exercise.  Using a lottery system, half of our youth were assigned physical impairments like loss of hands, caring for a baby, and body injury like broken legs.  At the beginning of the simulation, all participants were given choices that ultimately cost them food resources.  Some groups have no food at all but must barter for resources to eat. 

In the Global Village simulation, the Missouri 4-H group chose to work together rather than let some go hungry.  The Heifer International faculty shared that not all groups make this choice.   Some resort to stealing.  Sometimes it gets ugly in the simulation. 

"It's so affirming to see young people work together as a team," said Donna Taake, trip chaperone and SE Region 4-H youth development specialist.  "Communication and leadership skills are a strong indicator that 4-H is making an impact in the lives of youth.  This is our fourth trip with 4-H teens and each year they get better."

In the evaluations, the youth expressed a shared vision to help others, a respect for resources, and an appreciation for the quality of life in the United States.  Because of this outing, the group is planning to rejoin the team to help rebuild a house in Joplin with Habitat for Humanity. 

Learn more at and


Disaster recovery effort documentation

MU Extension faculty and staff have stepped forward as active partners in disaster preparation and recovery, notes Mary Simon Leuci, associate dean, MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“It is critical that we document a unified extension effort across all categories as we help the people of Missouri recover from disaster,” she said.

Leuci is asking that faculty and staff working with people affected by floods and tornadoes report their impacts.

“I know you don’t want to complete one more form, but we must be able to report impacts in order to compete for our piece of the budget pie as dwindling resources become even more competitive,” she said.

Two easy-to-use forms are available online on the staff resource page at

They are also available on the MU Extension shared drive at S:/#1 Preparedness/Evaluation and Data Collection Tools.

Please mail completed forms to Mary Leuci, 232 Gentry Hall, or scan to PDF and email to with “disaster recovery evaluation” in the subject line.

Report the contacts as direct contacts in WebApps under CEMP monthly.


Extension polo shirts for sale

polo shirt

MAEP (Missouri Agricultural Extension Professionals) is taking MU Extension shirt orders  Details are on the MAEP website at  Anyone can order shirts as long as the order and money are in by the July 12 deadline. 

For questions, contact Mary Sobba 573-581-3231 or email


News writing tip from Duane Dailey

We taught in extension news writing that the message must be repeated 10 times. That’s not enough.

One news story is just a start. For the right reader, one story can mean a lot. But we must tell our story many times to connect with readers when they’re in need.

At Wurdack Farm years ago, a field day speaker told how to eradicate infected fescue. A startled old-timer on the wagon asked: “You mean there's poison in my fescue?”

By that time, 50 stories must have been written on endophyte fungus.

Gene Munson, who invented spray-smother-spray, was the field day speaker. The question shocked him.

His message was simple. Spray herbicide on an infected field in the spring. Plant a smother crop, such as sorghum. After fall harvest, spray the field again. Those three steps allow successful seeding of nontoxic fescue.

That method was retold in a story this June from Rob Kallenbach, extension forage specialist. Rob says there is no shortcut.

Ralph “Gene” Munson, age 79, was buried with military honors at the national cemetery in Ozark, Mo., this week. His work lives on.  


Upcoming events

It's time to apply for statewide awards

Toot your own horn and apply for an individual award or consider nominating a colleague for great programming.

Are you a part of a team that is doing great work?  Apply for the teamwork award and you could win $5,000 to use toward your programming.

University of Missouri Extension Performance Awards recognize the commitment and dedication of extension employees in carrying out the extension mission — serving the people of Missouri with research-based education that meets their highest priorities.

New last year…County Program Director Excellence Award: Recognizes distinguished performance and educational contributions to University of Missouri Extension and clientele by a CPD.

What are the other awards?  There’s an award category for everyone…don’t miss out!
Vice Provost's Award for Outstanding Achievement
Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award
Extension Teamwork Award
Missouri Farm Bureau Federation Outstanding Specialist Awards
Missouri Extension Business Award
Missouri Extension Industry Award
Pat and Tom Buchanan Endowment   
Dr. Ronald J. Turner Endowment Global Education Award

How do I apply?  Applications and supporting materials must be postmarked by Aug. 19.  Send to Janice Perkins, 109F Whitten Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. Contact Lisa Wallace with questions at or 660-885-5556.

The awards will be presented at the Galaxy Conference on Nov. 1-2 at Camp Windermere.   Please take time to nominate yourself or others.


Master Farmer nominations due

This is for those who put off nominating a top farmer--an excellent Extension cooperator--as a Master Farmer. Now is the time! MU Extension cooperates with Missouri Ruralist magazine in honoring the very best.

The awards will be given Dec. 10 in Kansas City at the national young farmer convention. The award honors those who are innovators and leaders in their community.

Ron Plain and Joyce White in Extension economics have full details. Call 573-882-0134 or go to Missouri Master Farmer on the MU AgEBB .


Coming and going


In our thoughts and prayers

The family of Gene Munson, extension entomologist, who passed away on June 22.

The family of John Brumett, retired ag engineer, NE Region who passed away on June 26.  Cards may be sent to his daughter Johanna Cox, 32259 Highway E, Clarksburg, MO 65025.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey or Curt Wohleber in the Cooperative Media Group. If you have questions, contact Mark Stillwell, CMG interim director.